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Hospitality is one of the hallmarks of true Christianity. That is why the Philippines, the only Catholic country in Asia, is also known for its so-called Filipino hospitality. This trait has gained such importance that it has also spawned an industry. Hotels and restaurants offer hospitality for a fee. But, of course, you can hardly call that genuine hospitality. Just try entering a hotel without any money and see if the staff will still be hospitable. Try eating in a restaurant without a credit card or some cash in your wallet. Do you think the staff will still be hospitable and gracious to you? Thus, in the name of hospitality, such services are rendered but at a cost.

There are three different E’s you should remember about hospitality. The first E about hospitality is Every time. Abraham and Sarah were barren and childless. They pitied themselves. They were so wrapped up in their sorry state because being barren and childless could be seen as a punishment from God. Then the Lord visited the couple, and Abraham and Sarah, instead of telling the Lord, “What is there for us to give you? What are you asking from us? Can’t you see that we are also in need?” went out of their self-pity and welcomed their guests. They prepared a meal for the strangers and offered them rest. And because of their hospitality, they were rewarded with a child a year after the visit. Hospitality means Everytime. It does not choose the proper time because the most hospitable people are willing to accommodate, even if they would be inconvenienced or uncomfortable. Hospitable people welcome their visitors even if it will entail expense or even if they come at the most unholy moment.

The second E about hospitality is that it is Everything. It does not depend on rules. Everything means that hospitality involves the willingness to sacrifice. Everything means it is willing to pay and stake everything, including life, body, and blood, so that the one needing attention may receive it. St. Paul says, “I find my joy in the suffering I enjoy for you.” That was his form of hospitality, staking everything, not only the best in him but also the worst; not only the highest but also the lowest; not only the easiest but also the most difficult. Everything. I am staking everything in order to be hospitable, in order to be gracious.

The third E about hospitality is that it is Everybody. Everybody is Jesus. Every person is an image of God, and when you see a person needing help, it is the Jesus in that person; it is the God in that person that we attend to. Some of us extend hospitality out of duty, and that is why when the guests overextend their stay, we become restless and uneasy and begin to think that they stink. Some of us do hospitality for a fee, as do “hospitality” girls in restaurants. Some of us do hospitality because of duty because it is imposed on us. The real motivation for hospitality is that every person is Jesus. And every human being, rich or poor, friend or enemy, deserves our hospitality. Hospitality is for Everytime. Hospitality is for Everything. Hospitality is for Everybody because everybody is Jesus.

Gen 18:1-8
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